I am emailing from ShareAction, a charity which campaigns for responsible investment and reform of the financial system. I wanted to get in touch regarding a petition to put pressure on the USS pension scheme, which I thought Nottingham UCU members would be interested in.
The petition, called ‘Listen to USS!’, was started by a group of USS members, and has been officially backed by UCU. It demands that USS properly listens to members’ views about ethical issues.
Major concerns have been raised by USS members in recent years, on issues ranging from living wage, to child labour, tobacco, armaments and climate change. Many of these issues may also put at risk the long term financial returns of the pension investments. But members’ views have not been listened to by the USS Trustees, stating that they are not able to incorporate ethical concerns into the scheme’s investment policy.
At a time when accountability of USS to its membership is at an all-time low, and the financial benefits of the pension scheme are under threat, the petition provides another important way to hold USS to account.
With just 4 weeks until the petition submission, I wondered if you would be happy to circulate a note to Nottingham UCU members to encourage them to sign the petition and keep the pressure on USS at this critical point in negotiations?
The petition already has 1,500 signatures, but we are aiming to reach at least 3,000, before delivering the petition to the USS board personally at their annual Institutions’ Meeting on 4th December – a meeting which members currently do not have access to.
It would be great if your branch could also tweet about the petition. Here are a couple of sample tweets, in case it’s useful:
USS is not listening on ethical investment either! Click here to sign a petition to add pressure on USS: listentouss.org #listentoUSS
Sign this petition to add pressure on USS and demand we have a say in our pensions investments: listentouss.org #listentoUSS
Let me know if this is of interest – I would be very happy to discuss the campaign further, if this would be useful.
(A link to the campaign website is here: http://listentouss.org/)